United Capital Real Estate claims fraud in its own bid to buy the Plaza Hotel

The company is the third known bidder attempting to wrangle the asset from Sahara Group

Jul.July 01, 2018 01:00 PM

United Capital Real Estate’s Attilio F. Petrocelli, Sahara Group’s Subrata Roy and the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan

A third bidder for the landmark Plaza Hotel has emerged through a lawsuit filed last week in Manhattan court.

United Capital Real Estate sued majority owner Subrata Roy’s Sahara Group claiming it asked the company to go into contract to buy the hotel while quietly seeking a separate deal, Bloomberg reported. United wants $1 billion in damages. In addition to the contract for the Plaza, the proposed deal with United also included Sahara’s 85 precent stake in the Dream Hotel, according to the complaint, with both contracts being signed by Roy in February.

The claimed incident would have been going on while two other groups competed to pry the building away from Roy. Two investors, Shahal Khan and Kamran Hakim, offered $600 million, but the current minority owners, Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation and Kingdom Holding, had the right to match that number and did. Ashkenazy and Kingdom have not closed, however, and in May the pair sued Sahara over requested deposits.

The Real Deal reported that Sahara granted Ashkenazy and Kingdom an extension to close. Kahn and Hakim, meanwhile, have been trying to get Sahara to let them close the deal instead. [Bloomberg] —Will Parker

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